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SECOND PERSECUTION                         295

families of Szema Kuang and Han Wei have been enjoying govern-
ment benefits for about ten years. It seems inhuman to take them
away suddenly."

"No," said Chang Chun. "Han Wei laid down his office only a few
years ago."

"Still, it is already six or seven years," Tseng Pu rejoined. "Besides,
he was in power only a short time. If you insist on punishing the
children, then only take action against the families of Szema Kuang
and Lu Kungchu. But I do not think we should punish the families
at all. It should be enough to deprive men of their ranks in death.*5

"What's the use of all this?" replied Chang Chun. "Even whipping
their corpses wouldn't do them any real harm. What can they suffer
from being degraded of ranks in death? The only substantial thing we
can do is to make their children pay for it."

"That may satisfy you," said Tseng Pu, "but we should really con-
sider it carefully. I have no other thought in mind except that we
should not set up such a precedent."

Tseng Pu spoke with the voice of experience. Chang Chun later was
hanged by his own gallows. Ruthless in his persecutions of the Su
brothers, he did not want them to have comfortable shelter while in
exile. When Tseyu was in exile in Luichow, he was driven out of an
official building and forced to rent a house from the people. Chang
Chun took this up, and accused the Su brothers o£ illegally occupying
peopled homes by force or official pressure. The case was investigated
and Tseyu was able to produce a deed to show that he had rented the
house by contract. It happened that, later, Chang Chun himself was
exiled to the same town, and it was his turn to look for a house for
rent. The people of the town hated him, and said: "How dare we rent
a house to you? We once rented a house to the Su brothers and nearly
got into trouble." •

Chang Chun was not insane—he was merely consumed with a
passion for revenge, plus a fear of letting the opposition survive and
have a chance to come back. With the exception of Han Wei, all the
officials were sent far out to the south and south-west in different forms
of confinement, some in army confinement, some to keep wine
bureaus, and the less hated ones to serve as magistrates. Even old Wen
Yenpo, who hated and was hated by nobody, and who had served the
court under four emperors, was degraded and humiliated at the age of
ninety-one and died about a month later. Lu Tafang, Fan Tsuyu, Liu
Chih, and Liang Tao all died in exile. The fact that the last two died
within seven days of each other at a time when Chang Chun had sent
out two commissioners to suggest suicide to various officials made people
think that they were probably murdered. The hatred was so fiendish
that an order was even given that Liang Tao's remains could not be